Launch Escape System

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Launch Escape System
Part image
Launch escape system by
Radial size Small
Cost (total) 1 000.00 Fund
(dry) 982.00 Fund
Mass (total) 1.13 t
(dry) 0.90 t
Drag 0.2-0.3
Max. Temp. 2700 K
Impact Tolerance 15 m/s
Research Advanced landing.png Landing
Unlock cost 4500 Fund
Since version 0.23.5
Part configuration launchEscapeSystem
Maximum thrust (1 atm) 666.67 kN
(vacuum) 750.00 kN
Isp (1 atm) 160 s
(vacuum) 180 s
Fuel con­sumption 56.57 units of fuel/s

Thrust vectoring × No
Fuel 30.0 units of fuel
Burn time (1 atm) 0.5 s
(vacuum) 0.5 s
Testing Environments
On the surface ✓ Yes
In the ocean × No
On the launchpad ✓ Yes
In the atmosphere × No
Sub orbital × No
In an orbit × No
On an escape × No
Docked × No
Test by staging ✓ Yes
Manually testable × No

The Launch Escape System (abbr. LES) is a tower which can be placed above a command pod to safely pull the crew off a rocket in case of an emergency. It behaves like a solid rocket booster as it is fueled by solid fuel and that it can only be activated once. Compared to other solid fuel boosters, the LES has high thrust and high efficiency. The thrust is slightly tilted to steer sideways and clear the rest of the rocket. This gives it significant potential for putting a lander back in orbit around the celestial body on which it has landed, provided there is no atmoshpere, and the body has low enough gravity.

Due to the low amount of solid fuel it only fires for five seconds. But, because it usually only pulls itself, some accessories like parachutes and a command pod, the LES's thrust-to-weight ratio is high. For example a combination of one Mk1-2 Command Pod, for which the LES fits the best, two Mk2-R Radial-Mount Parachute and the LES itself only mass 5.38 t which results in thrust-to-weight ratio of 14 on Kerbin.

Product description

This solid rocket tower is designed to wrench the command pod up and away from a malfunctioning rocket.


  • Initial release

See also